Let’s be honest. Carrots are not really anyone’s favorite vegetable. No one ever yells, “Damn, I wish I had me a big bowl of steamed carrots!” I am one of the guilty who keeps them in my crisper until they shrivel up and become easy to bend. I would buy them in bulk because that is what I do when I tell myself that I am going to eat healthier. Then, I end up just staring at them every time I open my fridge looking for leftover enchiladas or pizza or cake or…
The vicious cycle of carrot neglect has got to stop. I am tired of having the red-headed step child of the plant realm glare at me whimpering, “…if you carrot all…, you’ll cook me and eat me and love me.” Okay, damnit. Okay…..fuckin’ carrots.
Carrot Idea #1
Hummus is something I make just about every week for us to nibble on when we get hungry. I do not use tahini in this particular hummus recipe because it tends to overpower the sweetness of the carrots. It is a great appetizer to serve with baked pita triangles sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.
4 carrots, chopped
1- 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
3/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp lime juice
4 sprigs fresh dill
1/4 cup olive oil
Boil carrots in a small saucepan with 2 cups water over medium high heat until soft. Drain carrots into a colander in the sink then transfer them to food processor along with beans and the next six ingredients. Fasten lid and process while pouring olive oil through the feeder tube hole. Process until carrot mixture forms a spreadable hummus. Serve with toasted pita chips sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.
Carrot Idea #2
Carrot Soup with Thyme, Raisins, and Pecans
I cannot believe I’m sharing this one. This soup is a fantastic dish for fall but, I make it year round (often with butternut squash instead of carrots) because it’s one I actually DO often crave. I’m not fucking kidding around….you will crave it too. It’s that good.
6 carrots (tops removed), sliced
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 russet potato, peeled and sliced
13.66 oz. can coconut milk
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp fresh thyme, stems removed
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 cup chicken stock
Golden raisins for garnish
Pecans, crushed, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss carrots and red onion with olive oil on a baking sheet. Roast in oven for 30 minutes or until carrots are soft. While carrots are roasting, place potato slices into a small saucepan with water and boil until soft.
Process carrots and potato along with coconut milk. Transfer carrot mixture (it will seem a bit gummy but that’s okay) to medium saucepan, add nutmeg, thyme, salt, pepper, and chicken stock. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add a little bit more chicken stock. Ladle soup into bowls and top with raisins and pecans. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.
*Wanna make it vegan?….use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
Carrot Idea #3
Lastly, there is the simpler way out when you don’t have a lot of time to fuss with making dinner. Don’t ever let me catch you admitting to that, btw. Keep that shit yourself. There is ALWAYS time to make dinner.
A few nights ago, I made a Date-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Onions and served it with a Chickpea, Spinach, and Red Pepper dish with, you guessed it, Roasted Carrots. They added a lot of personality to my dish. Roasted carrots are an easy side that literally takes 30 minutes or less to prepare. Depending on your chosen regional cuisine, you can switch up the herbs and seasonings for your carrots.
Mexican: cumin, fresh garlic, and chili powder
Italian: fresh oregano, parsley, thyme, and garlic
Moroccan: coriander, cumin, turmeric, fresh dill, brown sugar, cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse one bunch of carrots and trim tops. Pat dry with paper towels. I like roasting carrots with their skin so, I don’t normally peel them. Place on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, your choice of seasonings and herbs, salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and drizzle with melted unsalted butter or Earth Balance.